Those of us entrenched in the Twitterverse have all encountered the ubiquitous #sororitygirlproblems hashtag at one point or another. It seems like every day more and more collegiettes retweet @sororoproblems (that’s the user’s handle)’s snarky sisterhood tidbits, until our Twitter feeds are full of nothing but “Where did that bruise come from?” and “How do you clean a longchamp?” They’re funny, sure, and often painfully true, but not every sorority girl has nothing to worry about but purse maintenance and hangover cures. Membership in a sorority has tons of benefits, but it can also bring a bunch of new challenges—both for new members and seasoned sisters. HC scrolls past Twitter and into the minds of real sorority girls across the country to find out what’s REALLY bugging them.
You can’t keep your grades up
You may be alpha sister, attending every possible sorority meeting, party, and philanthropy event, but can you juggle it all? For many sorority girls, the craziness of Greek life becomes so all-consuming that it eats away at the most important part of college—the actual SCHOOL part (I know, right, we all forget that’s why we’re here). Katie, a sophomore at the University of Maryland, had trouble managing pledging duties and a full course load when she joined a sorority her freshman year. “We had pledge meetings twice a week, tons of mixers and parties, and weekly philanthropy events…I had no time to study! At the beginning of the semester I was feeling really overwhelmed.” She saw her grades starting to drop, and knew she had to make a change. “I dropped a class I was really struggling in, started going to office hours for my other classes to catch up, and I told our pledge mom I couldn’t come to every philanthropy event anymore. I also started going to the mixers only twice a week…it made a HUGE difference in my studying time!”
Sam, a junior at Cornell University, didn’t have a problem managing sorority life and academics—until she became president of her sorority. “I was running the whole sorority, singing in an a cappella group, taking a full course load, writing for a school publication…it just became way too much.” As president, Sam had to make her sorority one of her first priorities—so she scaled down on the rest. “I budgeted my time, took less credits that semester, and scaled back my writing, so I could dedicate as much time as possible to my house—it was definitely worth it!”
If you feel like your sorority is interfering with your academics, talk to your sisters—they can be surprisingly helpful. Some sororities have “scholarship big sisters”, older sisters in your major or school who can help you manage school and Greek life, and some others keep old notes and books in their houses, so you have a treasure trove of resources when finals time rolls around. At your next chapter meeting, stand up and ask what scholarship resources are available to sisters. If there are none, suggest that everyone write down their majors so girls in the same major can get together and talk about what classes to take. You could also arrange to have fixed sister-studying hours at the library, if you don’t already. It’s a great way to combine study time and a sisterhood event. And ask your big sister if she knows any older girls who are studying the same subjects you are—they may have old notes, and they will at least have lots of advice on how to prioritize class and sororities, and on what classes to take in the future if you’re feeling overwhelmed. And don’t forget to talk to your advisor or professors if you’re having trouble keeping up—they’re there to help you stay afloat!